Joyce v Yeomans: CA 1981

The court discussed how an appellate court should defer to the assessment of a judge at first instance of the value of an expert witness.
Brandon LJ said: ‘even when dealing with expert witnesses, a trial judge has an advantage over an appellate court in assessing the value, the reliability and the impressiveness of the evidence of the experts called on either side. There are various aspects of such evidence in respect of which the trial judge can get the ‘feeling’ of a case in a way in which an appellate court, reading the transcript, cannot. Sometimes expert witnesses display signs of partisanship in the witness box or lack of objectivity. This may or may not be obvious from the transcript, yet it may be quite plain to the trial judge. Sometimes an expert witness may refuse to make what a more wise witness would make, namely, proper concessions to the viewpoint of the other side. Here again this may or may not be apparent from the transcript, although plain to the trial judge. I mention only two aspects of the matter, but there are others.’


Brandon LJ


[1981] 1 WLR 549, [1981] 2 All ER 21


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedAssicurazioni Generali Spa v Arab Insurance Group (BSC) CA 13-Nov-2002
Rehearing/Review – Little Difference on Appeal
The appellant asked the Court to reverse a decision on the facts reached in the lower court.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority decision). The court’s approach should be the same whether the case was dealt with as a rehearing or as a review. . .
CitedMaynard v West Midlands Regional Health Authority HL 1985
The test of professional negligence is the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill. Lord Scarman said: ‘a doctor who professes to exercise a special skill must exercise the ordinary skill must . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.187269